KENNESAW, Ga.- The Akron softball team split a pair of games on the final day of the Bobbie Bailey Memorial Tournament on Sunday.
In the opener, Akron shut out Dartmouth (0-8-1 overall) in a 4-0 victory. The Zips (8-10 overall) finished the afternoon with a 8-4 loss to Kennesaw State (14-5 overall).
In the morning, Akron jumped on the board in the bottom of the first from a sacrifice fly out to right field from senior OF Savannah Fruin (Delray Beach, Fla.), which drove in junior OF Ashley Sims (Brooksville, Fla.) for the Zips' first run. A solo home run from junior OF Taylor Kirian (New Riegel, Ohio) gave Akron a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, a fielding error in left allowed Akron to score two runs to make it a 4-0 game.
Dartmouth threatened to score in the top of the sixth inning with a runner on third, but was unable to score, which concluded the Akron 4-0 shutout victory.
Freshman lefty Lexie Handley (Mogadore, Ohio) pitched a complete game and earned her seventh win of the season (7-4 overall). She struck out three and walked one batter.
In the afternoon against tournament host Kennesaw State, the Owls got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first scoring four runs. An RBI single up the middle drove in their first run, followed by a two RBI double. KSU then hit an RBI single to left field for an early 4-0 lead over the Zips.
Akron answered back in the top of the second inning when senior SS Carley Childress (Belknap, Ill,) stole home and was able to score the Zips' first run. UA added another run on an RBI double hit to left field from junior 1B Cassie Gillespie (Sylvania, Ohio) that cut the Owls' lead to 4-2.
In the top of the fourth, senior catcher Alyssa Nicholas (Cortland, Ohio) drove in junior pinch runner Kayla Schlosser (Erie, Pa.) on a sacrifice fly out to right field that brought the Zips within one run, 4-3.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Owls added a run on an RBI single hit down the right side that extended their lead 5-3.
The Owls scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth, which gave them an 8-3 advantage.
Kirian hit an RBI double to center in the top of the seventh inning that scored a run, but it wasn't enough to come back, as Kennesaw came away with the 8-4 victory.
Handley got the start and pitched a third of the first inning before being replaced by junior righty Nicole Best (Broadview Heights, Ohio). Best lasted 3.2 innings, fanning three and walking three batters. Sophomore Kelly Hysong (Beach City, Ohio) relieved Best in the bottom of the fifth inning. She pitched two innings, fanning four and walking one.
On the weekend, Childress batted .444, followed by Gambone. Kirian (.385) led at the plate with five hits, two doubles, a home run, and five RBI. In the circle, Hysong (.350 ERA) pitched 6.0 innings, striking out six and walking one. Handley (5.12 ERA) went 1-2 in 13.2 innings of action. She stuck out 12 and walked eight. Best (5.73 ERA) went 0-1 in 7.1 innings of work. She struck out six and walked six.
Akron returns to action next weekend at the Cherry Blossom Classic in Fairfax, Va., on March 11-12. The Zips will face Cornell and George Mason.